For as long as I can remember, the Iowa Cubs have worn a blue cap with a red, block letter “I” at home. Sure, they’ve had many alternate caps, as all minor league teams do these days, but the primary one was the big red “I”.
There’s a lot to recommend about this cap. It’s clean, simple and classic. It mimics the Chicago Cubs’ big red “C” home caps that we all know and love.
But there are also a lot of problems with the cap. For one, the letter “I” is definitely not one of the more interesting letters in the alphabet to look at. Another is that it looks like the baseball caps worn by the University of Iowa and the University of Illinois, only in different colors. Finally, unless you’re walking around the greater Des Moines area, it doesn’t immediately identify the wearer as a Cubs fan. If you wore one to Wrigley Field, you’d probably get a lot of “what’s that?” from other fans. On top of that, minor league caps sell to people from all over the country who just think they’re “cool.” The market has spoken and people want to wear minor league caps that are bold or goofy. The classic “I” doesn’t have much to recommend it outside of the state of Iowa.
So the Iowa Cubs announced on Tuesday that they have a new home cap, designed by Dan Simon of Simon Studios.
As well as an alternate one in white.
Both of these caps immediately identify the wearer as a Cubs fan. The bold, fierce bear is more in line with what people today want to wear. If the design looks a little familiar—it should. Simon also worked with the South Bend Cubs and the Tennessee Smokies to design their bear-themed logos and caps. He also worked with the old Daytona Cubs on their logo. (And if he designed the surfing bear alternate Daytona cap that I have, that’s still my favorite Cubs minor league cap, at least until I can get a Pelicans pirate cap in my size.)
Obviously these caps are for sale now and ready for Christmas. If you or someone you know are looking for a new Cubs cap that’s a little (but not too) different, then these new Iowa Cubs caps might be for you.
New Iowa Cubs caps...
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One more piece of minor league business from the Cubs affiliates. The Knoxville city council gave “final approval” of a plan to build a new stadium for the Tennessee Smokies in Knoxville’s Old City area. There are still some final hurdles to clear, but assuming everything goes smoothly, the Smokies should be playing in a brand-new ballpark in 2024.
In case you don’t know, the Tennessee Smokies have been playing in Smokies Stadium in Sevierville, Tennessee since leaving Knoxville in 2000. That’s about 20 miles east of Knoxville, on the road to Dollywood. This new stadium should return the Smokies to an urban area and closer to more fans.
The plan for the new stadium appears to be to model the place on Wrigley Field, and they intend to have apartment buildings outside the stadium with rooftop seating for the games. One would assume the new stadium will have all the modern amenities that will enhance both the fan experience and provide the facilities necessary to train young ballplayers.